Kwang Lim, Seok Ming Lim, Austin Aung and Claire Robichon
Kwang Lim, Seok Ming Lim, Austin Aung and Claire Robichon

A new contactless device that can detect and record patients’ vital signs is being trialled in the Acute Care of Elderly (ACE) ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH).

The Contactless Vital Signs Measurement (CVMS) study is piloting the use of a device from Norbert Health to measure patients’ heart rate, oxygen saturations and temperature on the ward.

This is the first time this device has been trialled in Australia, and in a ward setting. It has previously been trialled in France and the US in outpatient and Emergency Department settings.

The CVMS study - being led by the RMH's Clinical Director of Medicine & Aged Care Professor Kwang Lim and RMH's Hospital in the Home Doctor Seok Ming Lim - will also begin trialling the device with patients in the RMH@Home setting in May.

The patient sits or stands in front of the device, up to about 90cm away. The device then uses cameras – including a thermal scanner and radar imaging – to scan their vital signs in about 15 seconds.

It is hoped this device can be used in the future to remotely monitor the vital signs of patients receiving home-based care, helping detect and flag signs of clinical deterioration and prompting timely intervention.

"This project will enable us to develop and implement a new approach to caring for people at home by increasing our ability to monitor vitals and provide timely therapeutic responses,” said Prof Lim.

"We are excited about the potential of this project to improve the experience and outcomes for patients and their families."

Ten patients will be enrolled in the ACE ward, and they are testing both the usability and accuracy of the devices. The patients will test their vital signs four times daily for five days, with their results compared to the nurses’ measurements. Once the study moves into the RMH@Home setting, a further 15 patients will be enrolled.

The project is jointly supported by Norbert Health, the manufacturer of the device, and the RMH Foundation.

Pictured: Research Coordinator Austin Aung, Director of the RMH@Home Acute Seok Ming Lim holding the device, Home First, Ambulatory and Complex Care Services Clinical Director Aged Care and Medical Director Prof Kwang Lim, and Norbert Health machine learning engineer Claire Robichon.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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